Emeryville Amy

This blog will be a combination of my favorite places in the Bay Area and abroad, memoirs, recipes, restaurant reviews and travel experiences.

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Location: Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area, CA, United States

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Climbing The "Long" Wall


Well, they aren't kidding when they named it the Great Wall. It is amazing. Actually in Chinese it is referred to as the Long Wall which is apropos as well. We arranged through our hotel to go to a less touristy section of the refurbished wall. We shared a van with a very friendly family from New Zealand with two little kids. They have been teaching English on a small island in Japan for the past three years. We enjoyed talking with them the whole bumpy 2 hour ride.

We opted to take the cable car from the parking area up to the wall rather than hike there because we only had three hours and we wanted to walk around the top for awhile. It was a steep hike just to get up to the start of the cable car and there was a gauntlet of somewhat aggressive stall vendors to plow through. Once we reached the wall we decided that we would walk to the top of the reconstructed section. Actually, Thomas suggested that because he feels compelled to hike to the top of everything he sees. I am more into the nice level flat places.

It was awe inspiring to see how they constructed this immense wall over sharply undulating mountains. It was so steep in parts that we were bent over double to walk up the steps. Fortresses dot the wall every so often and the wind would whip through them making me think about how freezing it must have been during the winter. It was a gloriously sunny and warm day for us however and we felt blessed to be experiencing such a nice day there.

The last set of stairs was 450 steep steps high. One false step and it would have been a very long fall to the bottom. Not that I allowed myself to think about that... I was breathing too hard to be too worried about my footing. We had a picnic at the top with the New Zealand family that was comprised of our smoked almonds, beef jerky (which they had never seen before), apples and their ramen noodles and oranges. I felt so privileged to have been able to be on such an historical sight that I have heard about all of my life but never thought that I would probably see in person.

We need to leave now for the bus so I need to sign off.



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